Crashing the Oscar Race

Arts, entertainment, and more.
Feb. 14 2001 3:00 AM

Crashing the Oscar Race

100000_100938_stamaty_oscars

This year, Slate asked Buck Loughlin, last seen co-hosting the climactic dog competition in Best in Show, to talk with me about this year's Oscar race. Below is an edited transcript.

Buck Loughlin: Live from Hollywood, this is Buck Loughlin, here with David Edelstein, for the second biggest day of the movie year—the penultimate lap of the Oscar race. David, your thoughts on this great, great competition?

David Edelstein: Well, Buck, I just want to say at the outset that I don't really like to do this sort of racing commentary. I'm a serious critic for a serious magazine, and I have little interest in trying to fathom the middlebrow taste of the Academy--

Loughlin: So you're a pretentious two-bit whore is what you're saying?

Edelstein: Well …

Loughlin: Hold on! They're out of the gate! Actors, actresses, directors! All in the running for that golden statuette. Whatever happened to his genitalia, by the way? I'm just kiddin' ya. David, you gotta like the legs on that Julia Roberts.

Edelstein: Well, she does have certain coltish, equine--

Loughlin: And there's Russell Crowe in his souped-up chariot! Backed by those big DreamWorks bucks. Oh, you don't wanna mess with that big dog! Go get 'em, Russ! Rrrroooof!

Edelstein: Just a laughably crude movie—a high-minded splatter picture.

Loughlin: And he's flattening everybody, isn't he?!!! Billy Elliot, watch out! Whoa, that was ugly!

Edelstein: I thought Billy Elliot was a pretty limp movie.

Loughlin: Speaking of limp—I gotta ask ya—you think Billy was a little light in the loafers? Maybe that hurt him with the Academy?

Edelstein: Well, his sexuality wasn't really the point.

Loughlin:Almost Famous, GET OUTTA THE WAY!!! Oooh, too bad.

Edelstein: You don't like to see that … that was a sweet picture …

Loughlin: That's gotta hurt, huh? The darling of all you critical ay-leets …

Edelstein: Looks like two supporting actresses and a screenplay slipped through, though.

Loughlin: That little Goldie Hawn girl, she can be my groupie any time. Hey, who's that driving the Wonder Boys car? Robert Downey? It's off the track—and mowing down bystanders!

Edelstein: Well, I thought that movie didn't work.

Loughlin: I guess you could say Downey lost by a nose, eh? Anyway, Traffic moves into the lead. They've got a whole bunch of cars on the track!

Edelstein: I think Hollywood respects that film's multiple subplots and vast ambition—as do I.

Loughlin: But that Steven Soderbergh guy—how can he be driving two movies? You know what I think? I think he's carrying Traffic, and Brockovich is running on those Julia Roberts legs. You know who gets my vote.

Edelstein: Well, there is a kind of thoroughbred charm to Julia Roberts. A sort of equine grace.

Loughlin: Look out! Here it comes, down the middle of the road—the Miramax mobile!

Edelstein: A shocking come from behind, I'd say.

Loughlin: Y'know, Harvey Weinstein had his ticker go kerflooey this year; he lost some speed, but the drive is still there, I'm tellin' ya! Kick some ass, Harvey!! Spend, baby, spend!

Edelstein: I'm still stunned that Miramax has forsaken risky, low-budget movies for the middlebrow art house market. I thought this year they'd get their comeuppance.

Loughlin: Yeah, those pretty horses didn't even get out of the gate, huh? I guess they only looked pretty.

Edelstein:Vatel—what a wreck.

Loughlin: Stoppard him before he writes again! I'm just punning. But here comes Chocolat. The dark horse—dark chocolate. You must've liked that picture?

Edelstein: Uh … no. It celebrated the fearless morality of self-gratification.

Loughlin: Sounds like a Hollywood theme to me! And there's Cast Away, fast out of the box! Hey, Cast Away, look out for Gladiator!!! Pow! Cast Away pancakes the inside wall! It's marooned! Cast Away is marooned!

Edelstein: I'm surprised.

Loughlin: What do you think? Too much weight?

Edelstein: That's my guess.

Loughlin: But Hanks is fast, boy! He's in there with a Best Actor nomination!

Edelstein: He did suffer for his art.

Loughlin: Hey, if you paid me $25 million to go on a diet … That guy didn't have to act hungry! What's that up in the sky? Holy Hong Kong, it's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon! It's flying over everything! Is that allowed?

Edelstein: I think all's fair in this race.

Loughlin: Yowza, that little Chinese girl sure can fight!

Edelstein: She deserves a nomination, don't you think?

Loughlin: What's her name?

Edelstein: Zhang Ziyi.

Loughlin: Zagnut? Zing Zang Zooley? I think the 80-year-olds just said, "Screw it, let's vote for Judi Dench." A great old Dame! Julie Walters, is she a Dame, too? Can we petition someone for a Dameship for Julie Walters? I'm kiddin' ya.

Edelstein: I suppose it could be worse. It looks like a good day for Javier Bardem.

Loughlin: Doesn't he play for the Phillies?

Edelstein: I do feel sorry for Mark Ruffalo.

Loughlin: Gesundheit.

Edelstein: They look upset at the Village Voice table. Gillian Anderson was a favorite for House of Mirth.

Loughlin: Legs too short to compete against Julia Roberts.

Edelstein: Ellen Burstyn did.

Loughlin: Hey, let me ask you something. Did Burstyn really get electroshock therapy? When they had the camera in close on her face and she was just rattling around there—how'd she do that?

Edelstein: I guess she was acting.

Loughlin: Now that's acting! Boy oh boy. Rattling your brains for the sake of art.

Edelstein: My life as a movie critic.

Loughlin: A joker! Good luck to you! Hey, thanks for watching, everybody. See you all in March! Julia—slow down!

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Head of Security Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would A Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 2:31 PM 3 Simpsons Showrunners Reflect on New Fans and the “Classic Era” Myth
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms Off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 1:38 PM Why Is Fall Red in America but Yellow in Europe? A possible explanation, 35 million years in the making.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.